May 3, 2012
Ready to Make an Offer?
Do Your Homework
So maybe you can’t just buy a house with the click of a mouse but you can definitely window shop. Use the internet to check out listings (Zoocasa is great for checking out listings in the context of their neighbourhoods, plus Zoopraisal™ tool lets you get the approximate value of a property). By seeing what’s out there, you have an idea of what you like and dislike and most importantly what you can afford. Once you have compiled a wish list, give your agent the perimeters of your home search and he/she can include some alternate possibilities outside your “dream house + neighbourhood”. You’ll start to see what’s out there, compare homes for sale and find out what which neighbourhoods could be on your “maybe” list. Why not drive around those areas once you’ve decided some possibilites? Get a good feel of what it would be like to live in that area. Where’s the nearest grocery store, schools, library, etc.? These are factors that will weigh in on your final decision.
Score Top Marks?
Don’t just take the agent’s say so on the conditions of the home – get a professional, reputable home inspector (be sure to check out the home inspector’s credentials). You’ll want to know everything about the property before making any decisions. Use this handy checklist and make notes. Has the house been renovated? Was it by a qualified, licensed contractor? Will it need future repairs on its plumbing, windows or a new furnace? Get to know what kind of house it is, how old it is, what the deed restrictions are, etc. Think about how long do you plan to live there; it’s never a bad idea to evaluate the resale potential of the property.
A Good Final Once Over
There’s usually a standard contract that real estate offices use, however your contract will of course be tailored to the conditions of the particular house and situation. Remember, it’s important to go over the offer with your real estate agent and lawyer to ensure that all considerations have been met. They may have made hundreds of deals before yours and understand all the clauses, schedules and such but make sure that you do too. All of that homework you did before researching listings should have gotten you a leg up so you shouldn’t have to face any surprises.
The A+ Team
All those involved in your making your offer: your sales rep, lawyer, lender and the closing agent, not to mention “you”, the buyer, should check the progress of the transaction on a regular basis. That way if anything comes up, you can get a jump on resolving any issues asap. The same people who followed the offer so closely will help you with the “settlement” or “closing”, which is the day you become the legal owner of the property. In case any issues arise during the last stages of the transaction, you should be able to trust each professional to ensure that things run smoothly or get resolved quickly.